Why put a limit on gratitude?
One day each year we’re told by the calendar to feel grateful. But this shortchanges what gratitude can do for you, if you practice it beyond the national holiday. In short, gratitude gives everything in your life an upgrade.
It makes you a bad-ass in the face of set-backs; It makes you not an ass in the face of great good fortune.
And you can make it part of your daily routine, if you’re hoping to live a rich existence. And of course we’re going to say it has benefits for your college essay (it really does) and your appeal to admissions officers (positivity is attractive).
But that is just the beginning of how this feeling and virtue can alter your perspective and prospects for the better.
Gratitude’s brag sheet
Gratitude opens you to what is, rather than what isn’t.
Gratitude allows you to appreciate, rather than depreciate, your life as it is.
Gratitude is anti-consumerism– it doesn’t need more, it always has enough.
Gratitude is knowing even the chance to apply to college, the know-how to get through even the simplest application, spells opportunity and privilege. Compare this with the education models available elsewhere in the world and you’ll resent the effort a little less.
Gratitude is simple– you can exercise is towards anything. You can be grateful you can read these words, breathe, drink water, pee…no, really, the list never runs out. It’s actually inexhaustible.
Gratitude gives you a second chance when there is a shit-storm. When things don’t go “your way.” When you– if you– get rejected. When you– if you—get accepted.
Gratitude gains you positivity
The chain works like this: Gratitude induces positive feelings where more are needed or where there aren’t any. Positive feelings set your nervous system at ease. Positive feelings lower baseline stress. A nervous system at ease is solution-oriented. A nervous system at ease believes things can or will be OK. There is science to back this up, but you can try it out for yourself, too. Because science can say whatever it wants, but if you don’t experience it personally, what’s the use of knowing facts?
Can you see how this state of mind would lead, ultimately, to a better college application?
The grateful state of mind is not lazy or anti-striving; it’s just attuned to the good stuff that is already here. And trust me, colleges want healthy optimists on their campuses.
And beyond the benefits for your college essay, and application as a whole, can you see how gratitude glasses lead to overall saner perspective, or healthier life?
It’s just a day…for gratitude
If you’re not convinced, try wearing your gratitude glasses for a day, no matter how corny or forced it feels at first. And report back.
Not sure how to get started? Just make a list. Of as many things as you can think of that you’re grateful for Or invite friends to make a list on social media. Every time you think you’re done, add one more.
Still not sure you buy in? See what Oprah has to say about it.
With gratitude for our (and all) readers now and forever; for the first virtual reality these little symbols erected way back when the cave people were working on their college essays…
With gratitude for the way the sun is coming through the trees even in New York City; for the way my baby is shoving a whole plastic pig into his mouth to check his gag reflex (yup, it works) and for the wash machine for not eating my quarters… and to each of you, for going at this with all the presence and positivity you can muster.
And if you’re stuck?
Still feeling ungrateful? Can’t come up with one thing to put on your list?
Contact us. We’ll give you some writing exercises to dig a little deeper. And recommend you head on over here to the 1000 Awesome Things.